The synthesis of AlN via self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) was attempted, using various ratio of Al powder mixed with AlN powder as diluents. Al and AlN powder mixtures with various weight ratios were ignited a nitrogen atmosphere with various amounts of carbon as additives. High crystalline AlN by SHS were successfully synthesized. The microstructure development during the reaction and the influence of these additives were determined by SEM and XRD analysis. A mechanism for the formation of high purity AlN with a very low content of residual oxygen (<0.8wt %) was proposed.